Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP has welcomed calls by the RAA to duplicate the Sturt and Dukes Highways and called on the State Government to prioritise duplication planning and for the State and Federal Government’s to subsequently commit to the required funding.
In a speech to the Federal Parliament in October last year, Mr Pasin outlined the importance of the two highways as part of the National Land Transport Network and the inability to carry high productivity vehicles was an impediment to productivity, efficiency, and safety.
“The High Productivity vehicles I speak of are capable of carrying over 30 per cent more freight per vehicle,” Mr Pasin said.
“This would obviously mean less vehicles required on the roads to transport the same amount of freight. Not only does this reduce costs to transport operators but it increases safety for all road users and, in an increasingly carbon constrained world, it reduces the industry’s carbon footprint,”
Mr Pasin has written to both State and Federal Transport Ministers calling for the necessary planning to begin at a state level with a view to the Federal Government committing funding to the major projects as part of the Federal Government’s 10 Year infrastructure investment pipeline.
The Sturt Highway High Productivity Vehicle Capacity Enhancement, including Truro Bypass was added to Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List in 2016. This initiative is now captured under a broader initiative, South Australia High Productivity Vehicle network access, which encompasses both Sturt and Dukes highways.
The proponent, the South Australian State Government, is tasked with identifying specific initiatives and developing options as Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework.
Federal and State governments recently committed $87.5 million (80:20) to upgrade the Sturt Highway, between Renmark and Gawler, as part of the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) program.
Major construction of the project is to commence very soon and includes junction improvements, new overtaking lanes, pavement upgrades, safety works and new and upgraded rest areas.
Mr Pasin told the Parliament that while recent road funding was welcomed, the only real fix to bring the highways into the 21st century is to ensure the duplication of both highways to the Victorian Border, separating traffic in opposite directions.
“It’s time that we look to upgrade the Sturt and Dukes Highways bringing them into the 21st century. Completing the duplication of the Sturt and Dukes Highways is the real fix. The duplication of these important transport routes needs to be prioritised and included in the Federal Government’s 10 Year infrastructure investment pipeline,” said Mr Pasin.